Who is your favorite character of all time?
As an English major, I feel like I should have a really good answer for this question. I want to say Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby, but, honestly, I never even read the novel, I just saw the movie version a few weeks ago. I did read To Kill a Mockingbird, so I could say Atticus Finch, but it was so long ago I had to wikipedia it so I could make sure I got the name right. And I could say Jane Eyre, because I wrote my thesis on it, but, like seemingly everything else I learned at college, I erased that from my brain. Truly, I was a waste of an English major, but that’s beside the point right now.
So, while I do realize the question doesn’t necessarily have to be a book character, in my mind that’s what my answer is. I started thinking about books I truly loved and could (and did) read over and over again, and the answer came to me this morning: Mary Anne from The Baby-Sitters Club.
Okay, I know, Mary Anne was kind of a dork. She had that super strict and stuffy dad, and that secret in the attic. She’s a little uptight herself, but then she’s the first girl in the club to land a boyfriend (oh, that dreamy Logan)
I was (still am?) Mary Anne. Well, minus the super strict dad and boyfriend. We almost have the same birthday, and we definitely lacked the same self confidence. From The Baby-Sitters Club wiki: “She is shy, timid, scares easily, quiet, not very confident, not very assertive, dependent on her friends, and can’t stand arguments and big crowds. Mary Anne is very sensitive and cries at the drop of a pin. She cries at the cute kittens in cat commercials, goodbyes, and when others are upset, unhappy, or crying.” Really, that’s me to a T. Oh, and she hated gym. Come on, its like we’re twinsies.
I loved those books so much. I used to head directly to the back corner of Waldenbooks (RIP) and look at all of them on the shelves before picking out my next one (in order, obvs). After a while I would skip the first chapter or two, because they were always the same. I loved when I got to the store and discovered there was a new Super Edition, and I daydreamed about going on a cruise or to camp with my besties. And I’d wish we lived closer so we could walk to each other’s houses, instead of riding miles on our bikes or begging our parents to take us for a visit.
Maybe Mary Anne wasn’t the most interesting character I could have chosen, but she and the girls really sparked my love of reading, something I’m thankful for every day. Just as importantly, they taught me a lot about friendship and growing up (even though they never got out of middle school). The Baby-Sitters Club reminds me of being an awkward tween, trying to figure out who I was and who my real friends were (and still are), so no matter how many books I read, they will always be my favorite group of perpetual twelve year olds.
And, just for fun:
PS – The title is from The Baby-Sitters Club tv show theme song. Who knew?
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